"Mjolnir Recon number 54..."
The evidence would suggest that there is.
The log of Bernard Strauss (Marathon's first science director) reveals that the Marathon left Mars carrying
Leela reports that...all of the destructive knowledge of mankind. Ten cyborgs.
<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>
More recently, Durandal in the Marathon 2: Durandal (Preview) remarks:...nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs were covertly living among the colonists, and acting together they were able to single-handedly turn back the latter stages of the Pfhor assault.
<Ingue Ferroque (Terminal 3)>
If the 10th cyborg exists is there any reference to it in the story?Were you ever curious about the tenth cyborg which was supposed to be on the Marathon? Why could Leela find only nine? Was it ever activated? Was it destroyed during the defense of the colony? You are right to be curious.
<What! About! Bob! (Terminal 1: 2nd message)>
One terminal may hold the clue to the existence of the 10th cyborg. The exit terminal on Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (Terminal 2) contains the following text.
The first part of this terminal text would have made little sense when it was originally read. Certainly the word "Mjolnir" would have meant nothing. But by the end of game we learn that nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs were down on the colony turning back the Pfhor assault. Is the reference to "Mjolnir Recon number 54" in fact a reference to the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg? Does "Recon" stand for reconnaissance? Does "number 54" simply denote the fact that military cyborgs are numbered?Public Access Terminal 92-g<18.104.22.168> <Warning: Transmission may not be complete> Your last mission was a success, but I have terrible news. #@Pragma Nautical Redefined^# efenders reported seeing the aliens 1§moving a large cylindrical object. #101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/ it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. @14.Sword-Roland.transfer <Data Transmission Unsuccessful> <Rerouting> @@2-Fren. ie transfer. Partial cOmputEr^&ø relay. Tycho. &**Security error. Ty93.2 !dead. <Leela Data Transfer Unsuccessful> <Leela Program Pragma Ten> Communication interruption cause: unknown <Pre-Recorded Error Message Follows> My original programming didn't prepare me for these kinds of attackers. All of my functions will fail within a few minutes of this transmission. I have one final chance to trick the oncoming viruses, but it is unclear whether this attempt will be successful. I have given instructions to Durandal as to the best defense of the Marathon, but he is completely unstable and I fear that he is in the Jealous stage of Rampancy. Good Luck... <End Pre-Recorded Message> <Teleporter Automatic Sequence start> ***JUMP PAD ACTIVATION INITIATION START*** ***TRANSPORT WHEN READY***
In addition to these questions is the question - who is communicating this message to us? The first line is typical of Leela "Your last mission was a success, but I have terrible news". The reference to your last mission is presumably the clearing of the Engineering Section of Pfhor to prevent them from detonating a bomb (Shake Before Using...). If you had successfully completed the earlier level "Bob-B-Q" you would have received the following message from Leela
The first terminal in the next level (Shake Before Using...) is an Engineering Terminal so we are presumably in the right place. On reaching the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" we then learn that our last mission was a success.***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM LEELA*** You have done well. The surviving #4Fc#O32C <B.O.B.> reported seeing the Pfhor transferring some kind of large device towards Reactor Area 3. From the description it must be a bomb. If a large bomb is allowed to detonate in the Engineering Section, the Marathon would be ^&2``~<Colloquialism Search Error #F9C> We must head off the Pfhor threat to the Engineering section. I am going to send you into the primary re~Tick Count=>first_thought #49. You must clear the area of all aliens before they destroy the Primary Reactors. ~[p]*kc3sla/.U ***MESSAGE INTERRUPTED*** ***JUMP PAD ACTIVATION INITIATION START*** ***TRANSPORT WHEN READY***<Bob-B-Q (Terminal 1: 'Success' message)>
Is this still Leela? The reference to "Sword-Roland.transfer" would sugggest that Durandal is in some way involved in the communication and Tycho is also mentioned.#@Pragma Nautical Redefined^# efenders reported seeing the aliens 1§moving a large cylindrical object. #101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/ it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. @14.Sword-Roland.transfer <Data Transmission Unsuccessful> <Rerouting> @@2-Fren. ie transfer. Partial cOmputEr^&ø relay. Tycho. &**Security error. Ty93.2 !dead. <Leela Data Transfer Unsuccessful> <Leela Program Pragma Ten> Communication interruption cause: unknown <Pre-Recorded Error Message Follows>
One thing is clear we never find out if "Mjolnir Recon number 54" prevented the detonation of this second bomb. No reference is made to a bomb after this point. Is it possible that this terminal should have appeared earlier in the game somewhere before the last terminal in Bob-B-Q? On reading the 'success' message (not an easy feat!) at this exit terminal we would have read for a second time the existence of a bomb and that we must prevent its denotation. We would then recall reading that "Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up..."!
Thomas Reed <email@example.com> writes concerning the meaning of the word "pragma".
This is a programmer's command in C to set certain options before the compiler actually compiles your program. For example, if I want to specify that a certain data structure is aligned properly for a Mac 68K processor, I can use:
#pragma options align=mac68k
There are many other similar options that you can set using a pragma command.
So, I figure that these references in Marathon refer to commands being tossed around between or within the AIs, but not actually meant to be seen by human eyes.
This adds additional support to the hypothesis that the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" is a communication between AIs or within the same AI. This inturn supports the possibility that Mjolnir Recon number 54 is the official (computer recognised) name for the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg.
Arthur van der Harg <vanderHarg@DIMES.TUDelft.NL> points out that the words "Ty93.2 !dead" in the following passage from the exit terminal on Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
may mean "Tycho is not Dead" on the basis that in C, "!" is the logical negation operator. Arthur indicates that this "might actually be Tycho trying to get through."@@2-Fren. ie transfer. Partial cOmputEr^&ø relay. Tycho. &**Security error. Ty93.2 !dead.<Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (Terminal 2)>
Tim Oliver <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the exit terminal text on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" suggesting that this message is
...part of a garbled computer's version of the message Leela gives at the end of "Bob-B-Q" (Terminal 1: 'Success' message).
Thus instead of two bombs we have only one and the terminal in not misplaced but rather the text is, but deliberately so. Tim explains by saying
This wouldn't be the only time information has appeared out of order in a terminal. On "Try again" (Terminal 1) the phrase ... "thousands at a tim"...appears to have been dropped out of the previous paragraphs text ..." often by thehundreds of"..." and placed elsewhere in the term message. Of course what I refer to in my above argument involves jumbling information on a much greater scale, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.
Thus in what is an EXTREMELY difficult "success" message to read we learn that we (the player) must prevent the Pfhor from detonating a bomb in the Engineering Section. We latter re-read on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" that "Mjolnir Recon number 54" was supposed to stop this detonation.
Are we=Mjolnir Recon number 54 or are we!=Mjolnir Recon number 54 that is the question?
Simon Rowland <email@example.com> writes concerning the exit terminal on Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! suggesting that the apparently garbaged text
#101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/ it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. @14.Sword-Roland.transfer<Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (Terminal 2)>
is in fact part of Leela's instructions to Durandal as to the best defense of the Marathon. As Leela says herself in her Pre-Recorded Message on the same terminal.
<Pre-Recorded Error Message Follows> My original programming didn't prepare me for these kinds of attackers. All of my functions will fail within a few minutes of this transmission. I have one final chance to trick the oncoming viruses, but it is unclear whether this attempt will be successful. I have given instructions to Durandal as to the best defense of the Marathon, but he is completely unstable and I fear that he is in the Jealous stage of Rampancy. Good Luck... <End Pre-Recorded Message> <Teleporter Automatic Sequence start>
In Simon's interpretation the @14.Sword-Roland.transfer implies a message from Leela (transferred) to Durandal. Would preventing the detonation of a bomb not be part of "the best defense of the Marathon"? Of course as indicated above there is no longer a bomb at this stage.
Simon's interpretation raises two intriguing issues:
(1) Leela must have known about the existence of the Mjolnir cyborgs and may even have known that you were the 10th cyborg.
(2) Is the line #101111011110111100001# is is a '7' a message from Leela to Durandal indicating who you are? Is the '7' a reference to a Mjolnir cyborg?
See the Durandal (part 2) section for a further interpretation of this terminal message.
Michael Boeddiker <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
The discussion about the term "Recon" in the player's number, "Mjolnir Recon number 54" has always concluded with the assumption that this was an abbreviation of the word "reconnaissance." This, however, is probably incorrect. When forming that term, Bungie probably was alluding to an little known unit in the U.S. Marine Corps, Force Recon. Force Recon is, to quote their webpage,"The most elite unit in the Marine Corps. These are the men who fight the secret wars that never make the front page."(Website at http://liberty.uc.wlu.edu/~tilitzen/ForceRecon/). Is it not more likely for an elite combat unit to have a the most destructive weapon than for a reconnaissance unit to use one?
Interesting to note that the first Company of "Force Reconnaisance" was formed on June 1957. Thus the term "Recon" would appear to be an abbreviation for Reconnaisance. But as Michael points out these guys are no mere scouts. MARINES do it BETTER.
In order to avoid more people sending me the origin of the word "Mjolnir" I'll add here that in the What's New Section for Nov 17, 1995 David Dericotte <email@example.com> pointed out that the word "Mjolnir" was similar to the name of the hammer used by Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. The hammer was used as a weapon. You'll find more information about it here. You'll also find some information on the subject in the Historical & Mythological References in Marathon section.
Michael Boeddiker <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning "Mjolnir Recon number 54" and its function on the Marathon:
On page 16 [Marathon manual], the weapons descriptions, the Tech.50 is described as being "an extremely expensive weapon to produce and is used primarily by elite commando tactical troops." Why then whould this weapon be stored on the Marathon if there were not elite commando tactical troops? Now, who would be the most likely to be the "elite commando tactical troops" -- you and the other cyborgs, of course.
Note that the Tech.50 Fusion Pistol was renamed the Zeus Class Fusion Pistol in the actual game.
While we play the part of a military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg in Marathon it is generally believed that we had our origins in war between Thermopylae and Icarus in 2194 AD.
Were we one of these Battleroids - placed in stasis in case of war?<Excerpts from the "History of Battleroids"> In 2194, a war was fought between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492. These two small governments soon became the testing grounds for new weapons. Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born. Of course, the war was short. Battleroids got onto both asteroids and killed almost everyone. The rampage of the Battleroid was short lived. Twenty years later, the United Interplanetary League set up rules for the appropriate use and storage of Battleroids. Of course, any nation that used them for the allowed purpose, also had them lying about in stasis chambers in case of war.<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>
David Cornwell <email@example.com> writes concerning the "PERSONALITY CONSTRUCTS SEEKING CYBORGS" terminal in "Requiem For a Cyborg". Part of the terminal reads
David writes:SLEEPING BEAUTY. Long-deactivated extraterrestrial personality construct in search of gullible carbon-based cyborg (<20% machine) to confuse, irritate and teleport randomly around an abandoned desert planet in the core. All answered. MRa268' (5/30).
Notice it is asking about something that is LESS THAN 20% machine.
David goes to say that in the terms of Battleroid construction:
This kind of major reworking would not leave 80% or more of the body human
David makes a valid point. We may be a more recent creation with "ice on the brain".
Morgan Catha <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
The "android personals" terminal DOES NOT say that 80% or more of your body is human. It says: (<20% machine). The reworking of the dead soldier's body did not necessarily involve machinery (titantuim bones, etc.), and I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that battleroids were 20% machine or less.
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!", the first part of the message relates:
Forrest asks whether the line "Sword-roland.transfer" could mean a message coming from Sword (Durandal) to Roland (Berhnard)?#@Pragma Nautical Redefined^# efenders reported seeing the aliens 1§moving a large cylindrical object. #101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/ it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. @14.Sword-Roland.transfer
While it is not clear who was responsible for this message it is certainly clear from Marathon Infinity that Bernhard Strauss and Durandal were working together in some nefarious capacity. Durandal reveals all on Acme Station:
Well done, its old hat from here, Bernhard was constantly having me do redirect- subterfuge work back on Mars, it was easy then, and its only gotten easier.<Acme Station (Terminal 1: second message)>
Mattias Holm <email@example.com> points out that while the origin of the word Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) has been identified it is the nature of the hammer (player) which is interesting. Mattias writes:
1. When Thor threw his hammer there was lightning and thunder (read bullets and explosions) in the air.
2. The hammer (player) destroyed everything in its path and then it always returned back to the thrower's (Lelas/Durandals/Tychos) hand.
As discussed above the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" has proved instrumental in determining the existence of a 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg. The terminal text however still holds a number of mysteries. Mark Bassett <firstname.lastname@example.org> may have solved another piece of the riddle. Concerning the first part of the terminal
Public Access Terminal 92-g<22.214.171.124> <Warning: Transmission may not be complete> Your last mission was a success, but I have terrible news. #@Pragma Nautical Redefined^# efenders reported seeing the aliens 1§moving a large cylindrical object. #101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. Mjolnir Recon number 54 must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/ it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. @14.Sword-Roland.transfer
There is some discussion about the phrases "full spPace cOmputEró" and "Or PlannEd exterm". I just wanted to point out that the capital letters in these phrases are "POE" and "OPE" respectively. The letters O, P and E form the code-word used to recall the USAF nuclear bombers in the film "Dr. Strangelove", and they are similarly hidden inside obscure phrases. Not until the code-word is discovered can the characters in the film stop the air force from inadvertently dropping "the big one".
Mark is indeed right. :-)
Released in 1964, two years after the Cuban missile crisis, "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" was Stanley Kubrick's seventh feature film. It was a comic nightmare of push-button Armageddon. The film centers around attempts to stop a squadron of 34 B-52's from dropping their payload (some fourteen hundred megatons worth) on Russia.
The trouble is that the planes can only be stopped if the right recall code can be found.
Here is part of the film's script:
Turgidson:As you may recall, sir, one of the provisions of plan R provides that once the go code is received the normal SSB radios in the aircraft are switched into a special coded device, which I believe is designated as CRM114. Now, in order to prevent the enemy from issuing fake or confusing orders, CRM114 is designed not to receive at all, unless the message is preceded by the correct three letter code group prefix.
Muffley:Then do you mean to tell me, General Turgidson, that you will be unable to recall the aircraft?
Turgidson:That's about the size of it. However, we are plowing through every possible three letter combination of the code. But since there are seventeen thousand permutations it's going to take us about two and a half days to transmit them all.
Muffley:How soon did you say the planes would penetrate Russian radar cover?
Turgidson:About eighteen minutes from now, sir.
As the film progresses we learn that the code is hidden in an interlocking pattern of the words Peace On Earth, and Purity Of Essence. Part of the film's script reads:
Mandrake:Now look, Colonel... Bat Guano, if that really is your name, may I tell you that I have a very, very good idea, I think, I hope, I pray, what the recall code is. It's some sort of recurrent theme he kept repeating. It's a variation on Peace on Earth or Purity of Essence. E O P. O P E. It's one of those!
As it turns out the three letter code group prefix is O P E.
Is the line "full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm" a small homage to Stanley Kubrick's film "Dr. Strangelove"? After all there are references to Kubrick's sci fi masterpiece "2001" in Marathon.
It is interesting to note that in Pathways Into Darkness you were given a seven digit code in order to denote a nuclear device at the end of the game. However as you play you discover that the first three digits were changed and you must obtain the new code by talking to your dead comrades.
Steven changed the code after you were lost, but I don't know what it is.
Greg has the bomb. You need to find him and complete the mission. Steven changed the code, I don't know what it is.
Steven changed the code after you were lost, but I never knew what it was. Did you find Steven? Did he tell you?
Could it have been the case that an early (but unimplemented) idea in Marathon was the need to find a hidden code to prevent the destruction of the colony ship or the colony itself?
Aaron Freed <email@example.com> points out that there is another set of capital letters spelling P O E hidden in the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" just after the "full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm" mentioned by Mark Bassett above. The line is as follows:
@@2-Fren. ie transfer. Partial cOmputEr^&ø relay. Tycho. &**Security error. Ty93.2 !dead.
Curiouser and curiouser...
Since the Marathon's Story page went live many people have puzzled over the following binary string on the exit terminal of "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!":
#101111011110111100001# is is a '7'.
This terminal provides a hidden clue to the the existence of the 10th cyborg and our possible identity (see above).
Slowly but surely the seemingly garbaged text has been deciphered revealing snippets of information yet the binary string still defies logical interpretation. Our inability to decipher it is made all the more frustrating since it appears to reveal the identity of someone or something as a "7".
Does the binary string hold a secret or is it simply garbage text?
Most notable among the many attempts to decipher this cryptic string have been the seminal works of Simon Rowlands <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Eylon Caspi <email@example.com> dating from the early part of 1996. Space does not permit the publishing of their extensive analyses.
Apart for this work many people have noted interesting patterns in the string and please excuse me if I do not list names for if I did I fear I would leave people out.
The binary string has a total of 21 characters comprising 7 0's and 14 1's. Few have failed to see all the 7's hidden in there.
The string is actually composed of three repeating strings (5 characters long):
#10111 10111 10111 100001# is is a '7'.
#1 01111 01111 01111 00001# is is a '7'.or
#10 11110 11110 11110 0001# is is a '7'.
Other repeating sequences have been noted some smaller in length and others longer, for example:
#1 011110 1111 011110 0001# is is a '7'.
#1011110 111 1011110 0001# is is a '7'.
It should be noted that the latter sequence has 2 seven character long repeating sequences.
The inherent repeatability in the binary sequence suggests that it is more than a simple string of random 0's and 1's
But what could it be?
Strangely there are 2 is's after the binary string:
is is a '7'.
leading some people to speculate that the first "is" is actually part of the binary string itself, but that it is a converted (or uncoded) part.
One of the most humorous submissions received was the remark:
Elv is is a '7'.
But then we all knew that. ;-)
All levity aside the trailing "is" theory opens up a number of interesting avenues for investigation.
Attempts to convert the 21-bit binary string to decimal using positional notation:
(1 X 2^20) + (0 X 2^19) + (1 X 2^18) + ... ... + (0 X 2^1) + (1 X 2^0)
have generated the number 1555937. Those who have gone to this trouble (and yes... there are a few) have noted that the number has 7 digits and ends in a seven. Yet the number itself seems to hold no significance.
Others have suggested that the length of the binary string, 21 = 3x7, might suggest that it is either 3 7-bit numbers or 7 3-bit numbers. Yet attempts to extract anything meaningful have failed.
Ever mindful of the underlying hermetic nature of the Marathon story some individuals have explored more esoteric analyses, including bit inversions and reversals. But these have proved equally fruitless.
And so the mysterious binary string has stood the test of time. A garbage string or something more? One day perhaps we will know the tru7h.
Charles Srstka <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the binary string #101111011110111100001# is is a '7':
One of the letters in there, 'a', has ascii code 97. 97 in binary is 1100001, and that happens to coincide with the last 7 digits of the binary number. Weird huh? I've been playing with the other characters in there, with no luck... maybe it has something to do with ascii codes though. For example, the quotes around the 7 may mean that instead of the binary for 7 which is 111, you're supposed to use the binary of the ascii code for 7, 55, which is 110111 (which also shows up in the binary number)
"is" could be the equal sign. The binary code for it is 61, and if you convert that to binary, you get 111101, which just happens to show up twice in the binary number... so "is", "is", "a", and "7" are all in the binary number, though they overlap a bit. The only digits in the number that do not make one of these characters are the 10 at the beginning. 10, of course, is 2. What can I make with a 2??? Well according to my ASCII table, the character that corresponds with 2 is "STX" which means "Start of Text." Hmm........
And so it continues... the search for the elusive Holy Grail.
Mike Yocom <email@example.com> writes:
Concerning the term text:
" #101111011110111100001# is is a '7' "
The original ASCII used a 7-bit integer to store characters, some UNIX computers still use this code, but the system was eventually extended to an 8-bit code, the Mac uses this code, and for some languages, like Japanese, 256 characters isn't enough, so they use a 16-bit system.
It is possible that humans of the future deside to adopt a 21-bit system to hold every character used in every human language, they would be able to store 2,097,152 unique characters, and '7' might be number 1,555,937 using this "USCII".
And with the pattern within the number discussion, we have
10 1111 0 1111 0 1111 0000 1
_THREE_ sets of four 1's.
1 0 1111 0 1111 0 1111 0000 1
also adds three 0's.
With the 3, 7, and 10 discussion, 10/3 = 3.3333... rounds to 3, 20/3 = 6.6666... rounds to 7, and 30/3 = 10.0000...
drew <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the mysterious binary string #101111011110111100001# is is a '7' displayed on the exit terminal of "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!".
Now, on the page, it mentions that if you convert from binary to decimal that binary string is 1555937. (A 7 digit number ending in 7, as the page mentions, but this is not where the seven will truly come into play for our good friend 1555937.) Add the digits: 35. 35/7=5.
Now, take the extraneous "is". i=9. s=19. 9+19=28, right? And 28/7=4. 5...4. 5...4. And then it mentions Mjolnir Recon Unit 54.
Could it be this line, were it not 'corrupted', would be intended to introduce the concept of Recon Unit 54 before it was explained what 54 exactly had to do?